Category Archives: Articles


Helpful Websites – Purdue OWL

By Bryan Maxwell, Franklin Social Studies Department Chair

As students and educators, we all know there are many websites that can help us with finding the information necessary to be successful in classes and in teaching. One of the most difficult aspects that I have run into as a teacher are the challenges students have with writing and the proper format to use when completing assignments. Many assignments will ask that students use MLA formatting with proper in-text citations. Many students often do not know where to go to get the proper information. One of the best websites that I have come across to assist students with writing assignments is Purdue OWL.

The Purdue (O)nline (W)riting (L)ab has an extensive amount of resources and information to assist students through the writing process — anything from general writing to research and citations. There are many writing exercises that Purdue OWL offers to assist students with basic writing concepts, such as sentence clarity, spelling, and parts of speech, to name a few. Therefore, if students are struggling in a particular area of writing, all they need to do is to click on that particular link, and they can practice so that they can gain the knowledge to be successful in their writing.

The Research and Citation link of Purdue OWL gives students important information about how to use the MLA format, or Modern Language Association style, as well as how to use in-text citations. Even when students move on from high school to college, there are resources that will assist them with the use of the APA style (American Psychological Association) of writing as well. Since many students have difficulties with plagiarism and sometimes not knowing when they are plagiarizing, Purdue OWL advises students on the best ways to use quotes as well as how to cite them properly. As an educator, I have found Purdue OWL to be very beneficial, and I would highly recommend using the website to assist with writing assignments.


Tips for Working with International Students

By: Doina Beljic, Franklin Mathematics Instructor

I enjoy working with international students here at FVHSI. The biggest challenge for our students is juggling both their regular and online classes at the same time in order to graduate. This is why I developed a set of guidelines to ensure international students’ success in our programs. I am looking forward to completing this list over several articles in the newsletter, and letting the students know that they have a strong support system when working in our programs.

Here are a couple of tips that I’ve developed to help international students succeed:

  • Students preparing to study abroad should be aware that they need to work on their academic English language, which has specific terms for specific subjects. For example, while math is a universal language, the math vocabulary is different in every language. A different vocabulary can be a serious obstacle to obtaining good grades in this subject.  I use a variety of websites that have descriptions of the math terms that are in our courses to help the students better understand what is needed of them. An example of a good resource would be:
  • Franklin offers two important courses that represent the cornerstone of education for international students: Literacy and Comprehension and Strategies for Academic Success. I always recommend my students start with these two courses and then continue with English. These courses help international students to better understand the academic materials, provide them with a solid base of understanding of what is needed from them, and offer valuable strategies that will ensure their academic success in later classes. After the successful completion of these two courses, the students will be able to apply critical thinking skills, use sophisticated reading techniques, take valuable notes,  get better results during tests, plan and organize their work, and, finally, be equipped for a smooth learning experience.

I will continue this blog over the next few months. If you are reading this and you are an international student, please send me an email at and tell me what your struggles are here in the U.S. academic system. I would be more than happy to assess the issues and help find new ways to make studying in the United States an exciting and valuable experience.

Click here to read more about Franklin’s Pre-Academic Year Abroad Preparation Program.


Preparation for the ACT or SAT

By: Janeen Scaringelli, FVHS Registrar

Dear Parents,

Getting ready for college is a stressful time in a teen’s life.  ACT and SAT prep can be especially intense.  Fortunately, there are ways that parents can ease test anxiety and give their teens the support they need for exam success.

Stay Calm and Keep Things in Perspective

Your child will be anxious about his or her test scores.  So will you.  You care about their future as much as they do, and you may know more than they do about their upcoming challenges.  But test anxiety is contagious.  Keep your worries in check.  If you can face test prep setbacks calmly, your teen will have the confidence to keep trying.

No Gossip or Bragging

When your child is making great progress in their test prep, it’s easy to run out and tell everyone.  But you know what’s hard?  Preparing for the ACT or SAT in front of an audience.  Mastering test skills is stressful enough with just you watching your teen.  Keep your child’s test prep between you and them.  That way, your teen will focus on their own performance, not on what other people think of their performance.

Start Early and Plan in Advance

Talk to your child about the importance of ACT and SAT scores early on, in their first or second year of high school.  Encourage them to get started with one of our test prep courses.

FVHS offers successful prep courses to help your child be more successful for their test.

  • Practice online anytime for any standardized test
  • Practice questions styled after actual test samples
  • Video lectures, presentation notes & learning tips
  • Integrated, LIVE tutoring support


Dates to Know:


SAT Dates

Where Do We Register?



Graduation Requirements

  • Remember, not only does your child need a good ACT/SAT score for university entrance, they need it to graduate from FVHS if they have not passed a state exit exam.

Graduation Minimum Scores:


  • Reading: 19
  • Math: 15


  • Critical Reading: 430
  • Math: 340

University Requirements

  • 3.0 in core classes (B)
  • ACT: 22
  • SAT: 1120

The above scores are based on most state universities, but can vary.  Please check admission requirements to any university your child is interested in attending.


Important Information for High School Parents

The earlier you reach out to your children in their high school years, the less stressed they will be to fulfill their dreams after graduation.

Talk to your child about how to pay for college.  Research scholarships early and apply for FAFSA at:


Avoiding Plagiarism

By: Melissa Daniel, FLC English Department

What is plagiarism?

  • Presenting someone else’s words or ideas as if they were your own.
  • Copying someone’s words and presenting them as your own.
  • Taking someone’s words and changing a few of them here and there.
  • Using someone’s work as your own.
  • Restating a text or passage in another form without giving credit to the author.
  • Copying information from a book, the Internet, or another source without giving credit to the author.

How do I avoid plagiarism?

  1. The first step to avoiding plagiarism is to cite the source(s) of your information.
  2. The second step to avoiding plagiarism is to make sure that your writing is very different from the original source.
  3. The third step to avoiding plagiarism is to put quotation marks around any phrases that are copied directly from the original source.
Avoiding plagiarism is about giving credit where credit is due!

You should always use citations to acknowledge sources of information that are not your own thoughts. A citation should include the following:

  1.  Name of the person who created the work
  2.  Title of the work
  3.  Date of publication
  4.  Name and location of the publisher
  5.  Volume number, page number, edition, etc. are needed for direct quotes.
Go to for help with citation formatting.
Remember to read pages 12-15 of your FVS/FLC Student Handbook to understand our plagiarism policy and the consequences of violating it.

Online Test Taking Strategies

By: Bryan Maxwell, Franklin Social Studies Department Chair

Test taking can be really stressful for students. Whether you are taking a test in a classroom setting or an online setting, there are often feelings of stress and uneasiness. Fortunately, there are strategies for students to use to aid and even relieve the stress of test taking.

For the purpose of this article, I would like to focus on some test taking strategies for students who are new to the online platform.  Before getting too deep into this piece, on a positive note, many of the same strategies that can be used in a classroom test-taking setting can be used in an online platform as well. However, it is important to understand that there are some important differences, and students who are new to the online platform should be ready for them.

One of the most basic tips for test takers in the online platform is to read and understand the test guidelines. This will give students the basic knowledge of when the test will take place and how long a student has to complete the test. Another test taking strategy that applies for online test takers is to make sure to create a quiet area with no distractions. In many situations, students are able to take their tests at home. When doing this, it is possible to have those daily distractions that one would not normally have when taking a test in a classroom setting.

Finally, make sure to review answers for accuracy before clicking the submit button. This may seem like something that students would do during any type of examination, but sometimes there may be a rush to get the test submitted. To avoid this situation, always leave enough time for review.

For more information on online test taking strategies, please visit the following website:


10 Benefits of Choosing an Online, Virtual High School

1. Convenience

Balance your life by taking classes when you have time. Franklin offers flexibility according to your current lifestyle. If you’re working full-time, no problem. Study when it’s convenient for you.

2. No Stress About Credit Transfers

Franklin courses are fully accredited. To future employers, this degree is as valuable as a traditional one, but gives you an education on your terms. Franklin staff works with you to achieve your educational goals, whether it be credit recovery for one class, or a full diploma. They also work with you to be sure your credits will transfer to any school you choose.

3. Location

Anytime, anywhere studying. No commute necessary. You no longer have to worry about getting to school on time. And you can wear your pajamas!

4. No Sign-Up Timeline

No “school year” determining when you need to complete your courses. No adherence to school holidays and breaks. Sign up anytime to start your education.

5. Self-Paced Learning

Choose your own pace. You’re in charge of when and how much to study. It’s proven to be more effective for independent learners.

6. Support

Franklin programs come with an online tutor and teachers to help support learning and keep you focused. Technical support is also available if necessary.

7. Greater Ability to Concentrate

For shy or introverted students, or those who are easily distracted by other students or noisy classrooms, Franklin is an ideal option. Medical or social reasons are no barrier to your education when you can learn at home.

8. Unique Variety to Suit Your Interests

Franklin offers a wide range of courses, some of which may not be available at a traditional high school. These can prepare you for college courses, or a career. Some unique courses are Introduction to Entrepreneurship, Audio Engineering, Game Design, and a Nursing or Pharmacy Technician Preparation Course.

9. Opportunity to Graduate Early

Driven students can take a more challenging course load and waste no time getting into college or a career sooner than the typical student. Franklin staff works with students to be sure they are on the best path to their educational goals.

10. Flexibility

Taking a month-long vacation? No problem, take your classes with you! Study from a hotel in Mexico, China, or Paris, it makes no difference. And there’s no need to ask permission from your instructors.

Contact Us At:


(880) 990-3847 to learn more today!



Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Standardized Testing

Is it better to take the SAT or the ACT?

It makes no difference; both tests are equally accepted at colleges.  The only exception is that some accelerated medical school programs only accept the SATs.

Do I have to report all my scores?

It varies by school what their policy is regarding score choice.  The most common options are below:

Highest Section Scores Across Test Dates. 

Colleges will consider the highest score for each section of SATs (and in some instances the ACTs) to create a superscore. However, most schools will not combine scores between the old and new SAT. (Some schools will even combine scores across tests, for example Georgia Tech will look at the highest scores between SATs and ACTs.) Students have the option to choose whichever scores they want to send, but must send the entire score for a single sitting.  Once the scores arrive at the college or university, they will only consider the highest score from each section.  Some schools that adhere to this policy are: Columbia, University of Pennsylvania, Dartmouth, Brown, Harvard, Princeton, and MIT.

Single Highest Test Date.

In this scenario, colleges will only consider the single highest test date for a given sitting.  Some schools that follow this policy are: UCLA, Berkeley, and Penn State.

All Scores Required.

For these colleges, students must send all their scores and the colleges will review them all. Some schools on this list include: Yale, Cornell, Stanford, UCLA, Berkeley, and Georgetown.*

Click here for the SAT Score Choice FAQs

Will I be penalized for taking ACT or SAT multiple times?

No, most schools only consider the top scores and do not penalize students for taking the test multiple times.

Do schools superscore the ACT?

Some schools will take the highest scores from each section to create a new composite ACT score, but many do not.

Click here for a full list of schools that superscore the ACT

Do schools consider non-required test results, such as SAT Subject Tests and AP Exams? 

If you include these test results as part of your application, some schools will consider them only in light of how they might benefit your review. However, some other schools, such as Vanderbilt, recommend not sending SAT subject tests that are not in the top 90th percentile because it will impact the application.  This also goes for AP scores that are lower than a 3 and for the most select schools lower than a 4 or a 5.  It is better not to report the scores than to report a low score.  Students do not need to send their official AP exam scores until they have matriculated at a given college.

What if I change my mind about which SAT subject tests to take after I register? 

That is fine.  You do not need to decide which tests to take until the day of the exam.  You can take up to three subject tests per sitting and can take as many or as few as you like the day of the exam.


*Please check with the College Board or the school website for the most up-to-date requirements.

Originally published HERE.